Trump Says He’s Banning TikTok From Operating In The U.S. – Escalating tensions with Beijing, President Donald Trump threatened Friday to ban the popular short-form video app TikTok from operating in the United States, over concerns about the social media platform’s ties with China.
Trump Says He’s Banning TikTok From Operating In The U.S.
President Donald Trump said on Friday night that he would sign an executive order as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok in the United States, ratcheting up the pressure on the popular short-video app’s Chinese owner to sell it.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington after a fundraising trip to Florida.
Trump described the action as “severance” and said he could sign an order as soon as Saturday. “Well, I have that authority,” he said.
“I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump said, referring to emergency economic powers.
Earlier on Friday, people working on the issue within the Trump administration expected the President to sign an order to force ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the social media platform, to sell the US operations of TikTok, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The move was aimed at resolving policymakers’ concerns that the foreign-owned TikTok may be a national security risk.
The US government is conducting a national security review of TikTok and is preparing to make a policy recommendation to Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters this week at the White House.
President Donald Trump Threatens To Ban TikTok:
President Donald Trump’s threat comes as the administration is investigating whether the app’s parent company, ByteDance, is harvesting the data of millions of American users. The U.S. Navy last year urged service members to delete the app from government devices.
TikTok has previously said it doesn’t send any user-collected data to China.
Though the social media app is owned by a Chinese firm the company has said it is run by an American CEO. U.S. officials have raised concerns about the Chinese government tapping into personal data via Americans’ cellphones using such smart phone applications.
In addition, Microsoft (MSFT) is in talks to acquire TikTok, according to the New York Times, citing a person with knowledge of the discussions.
A spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement that the app is a job creator committed to the privacy of its 100 million users in the United States.
“We’ve hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US.,” the spokesperson said. “Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform.”
“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access,” the statement continued. “TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
“We’re looking at TikTok,” Trump said earlier Friday. “We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some others things,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday morning. “We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, a New York City-based nonprofit advocacy organization, said banning an app like TikTok “is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical.”